Throughout the year, people in the Mitchell area have the opportunity to give their health a routine tune-up. For men it's free prostate screenings at Cabela's, for women it's free mammograms at the hospital. Both are events founded by the Avera Queen of Peace Foundation.
"With this project, in the past 6 years, we've been able to help over 1000 people and we've found of those, 20% have tested positive." Said Tracy Pardy, director of the foundation.
One of those people was Rob Marchand. Rob got his prostate checked at the first Cabela's screening event in 2009. Through that screening, doctors determined at age 54, a third of Rob's prostate was cancerous. He's been fighting ever since.
"I'm doing every option, I couldn't imagine where I'd be if, I'd probably be in a bad situation so I'm thankful I did that honestly it probably saved my life." Said Marchand.
Rob's story highlights what the foundation is all about. Putting resources where they do the most good and saving lives.
"Anyone who can't afford a cancer screening you can come here, you can qualify and get a free cancer screening let us help you save your life, let us help you save your mother, father, sister, brother, aunt, and uncle." Said Pardy.
But the foundation needs help to continue that mission. That's where "Splash of Spirits" comes in. It's a fundraising event and silent auction to keep free cancer screenings going.
Auction items range from all-expense trips, to sports memorabilia, to adult beverages, and guys, maybe a few Christmas gifts for the wife? In it's six years, this one event has raised more than $155,000 for the foundation.
"The foundation needs those resources to provide these services so if guys or families are looking for ways to contribute financially give these people a call, we need the help and it's a necessary thing." Said Marchand.
Rob knows getting a man to even talk about a prostate exam is difficult. But with the help of the foundation the biggest excuse of cost is removed. So men can learn from Rob and make sure they really are as healthy, as they may feel.
"I tell guys you have to be men and do this and not worry about the ramifications. It has changed my relationship with my wife and family and coworkers, but I'm still here." Said Marchand.
And by helping support the Avera Queen of Peace Foundation you're helping others like Rob, fight their disease and live their life.
The foundation has already raised nearly $20,000 but is hoping to reach a goal of $50,000 for this year's event.
"Splash of Spirits" is coming up on November 2nd and will be held at the Highland Conference Center in Mitchell. It's a night of fun, wine, and food tasting along with the silent auction and live performances. Tickets are still just $55, to order just call 605-995-5337